10/12/2020 UPDATE: Please note, the Kickstarter was cancelled and all pledges refunded, but you can still purchase a copy of one of the cards on cluecards.ca (link at the bottom of the review).
It’s Christmas eve and Santa has just finished delivering the presents to the Franklin family. As he was unloading he noticed that Francois the forgetful elf has forgotten to label the presents! Santa needs your help! Jump down the chimney and figure out how to label all 6 names, but be quick -it’s almost Christmas morning!
Completion Time: ~25 Minutes
Date Played: 28th November 2020
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: A Christmas Gift
Even though I marked this as (Did Not Finish), I LOVE the idea and am so excited to have been sent an early copy of The Forgetful Elf to play. Very refreshing, surprising and absolutely charming. A lot of fun on a Saturday night over a cup of mulled wine, which is exactly how a festive game like this is meant to be digested. Oh yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
At the time of writing, the clue system isn’t yet live on Clue Cards’ website. So whilst I’m 99% sure I’ve got 5/6 of the names correct, I can’t realistically say I finished *nervous sweating*. In all likelihood, I’ll come back and update this review once I’ve checked my answers. But for now I’ve popped the card in centre place on my mantelpiece for all to admire in December, pretty as it is!
Clue Cards is a joint venture between The Escape Box and Scarlet Envelope launched on Kickstarter from November 19th for 10 days. The creators bring their wealth of play at home puzzle games to a brand new and very festive genre – Christmas Cards! Boy, does their experience show.
Clue Cards: The Forgetful Elf is a well thought out experience that I’d be both excited and proud to send to just about anyone for Christmas – veteran escapist and casual player both! It’s sturdy and easy to write on card stock, with a space for your stamp and your personalised letter too, which I love.
One of the absolute best things to highlight however are the illustrations. When somebody suggests to be a “puzzle Christmas card”, I immediately assume that it’s going to look… Well… Puzzly! Design sacrifices a lot to fit puzzles in (believe me, I’m an escape game designer myself). But Clue Cards pull this off flawlessly with what looks like an absolutely regular Christmas card until you take a closer look. Yes, I might have scribbled all over my copy right after I took these photos – but scribbles aside, it looks PERFECT with my other Christmas cards.
In terms of content of puzzles, Clue Cards recommends The Forgetful Elf as a 2/5 difficulty experience. My experience was that there was a very good mix of puzzles in there, with some solid logical deduction. A few I picked up immediately, spotting what to do and how. Other puzzles I had to think over a few times, flipping back and forth between the instructions and the card’s front. But once you’ve figured it out – you’ve got it. There’s a strong “OH! YES!” moment to each of them, fuelling the positive reinforcement of solving a game.
Overall, to end with my opinion – I only played the one from Clue Card’s series but I can confidently say I had a fantastic, festive time with the game. I can only imagine how much fun (and how challenging) their other Clue Cards are! But one thing is for sure, they’re a company to watch and I’m very excited to see what the talented team will come up with next!
Clue Cards cards can currently be purchased on their website here.